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Monday, May 06, 2013


by Joan Mazza

Seventeen years they’ve been burrowing deep in tree roots,
waiting for their time to wriggle out of their exoskeletons
and take wing, males singing to attract females. The woods
in the afternoons transformed into a noisy singles bar.

The last time the red-eyed brood emerged, I was visiting
in Virginia, guest from Florida, not a resident.
I slept with windows wide, welcomed that chorus
louder than frogs, natural and shrill, an improvement

over motorcycles, sirens of ambulances and fire engines,
Fort Lauderdale’s ceaseless traffic spewing exhaust.
A bonanza of a buffet for wildlife, they dropped
from trees onto our lunch tables. Delighting in delicate

segmented wings, I photographed portraits. Listening now,
I anticipate the din, thunderous as a jackhammer,
with earplugs and an extra feather pillow for over my head,
ready to welcome the natural world I moved here to love.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, sex therapist, writing coach, and seminar leader. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Perigee/Penguin/Putnam), and her work has appeared in Cider Press Review, Rattle, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Permafrost, Slipstream, Timber Creek Review, The MacGuffin, Writer’s Digest, The Fourth River, the minnesota review, Personal Journaling, New Verse News, Playgirl and many other publications. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.